Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Jean-Dominique Billaud

Germany opens first carbon neutral Station

German railway company Deutsche Bahn has opened Germanys first carbon-neutral train station in Kerpen-Horrem. The 4.3 million euro project is part of Deutsche Bahn’s ‘Grüner Bahnhof’ (Green Station) programme and incorporates high-tech eco-friendly design and sustainable technologies. The Horrem station located between Cologne and Aachen is powered by solar-power and geothermal energy.

Image courtsey of deutschebahn.com

Image courtsey of deutschebahn.com

The stations include sustainable features, such as a photovoltaic system and a geothermal system which heats and cools the building while solar thermal systems produce hot water. Its green roof allows the building to harvest rainwater which is then used to service the toilet facilities. Generous skylights allows daylight into the building. A new lighting model uses both natural light and energy-saving LED light technology.

According to Dr. Rüdiger Grube, CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG speaking at the opening ceremony, “Horrem represents a new generation of station buildings which combine modern ecological standards with high customer comfort. This station is a proof that sustainable construction methods and modern equipment can go hand in hand.” The “Green Station” pilot project is the first step towards a new generation of stations. Green Stations include the latest ecological standards coupled with high levels of customer comfort as a result of innovative spatial and lighting ideas. Another “Green Station” is to be built in Lutherstadt Wittenberg in Saxony-Anhalt. For more information click here.

Image courtsey of deutschebahn.com

Image courtsey of deutschebahn.com

Energy performance is one of twelve environmental indicator areas assessed as part of the European Green Capital Award. The Commission has launched its search for the 2017 European Green Capital. Cities across Europe with more than 100,000 inhabitants can apply. Cities can apply via an online application portal and must register in order to access the application documents.